ACCC Child Care Inquiry Interim Report Confirms Vital Role Played by Family Day Care
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last week released its Interim Report on its inquiry into childcare services. The report focuses on prices, supply and demand for childcare and an initial examination of the impact of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).It also includes analysis by socio-economic areas in Australia.
The Interim Report shares early insights gathered through Departmental data, written submissions and consultations with parents, guardians, providers and peak bodies, including FDCA. Below are some of the report’s key findings relevant to the family day care sector:
- Households face significant differences in fees, availability of childcare options and the quality of services, depending on where they live and their incomes.
- Family day care is considerably more likely to be operating in areas of higher disadvantage than centre-based care.
- Culturally and linguistically diverse families and households facing disadvantage are more likely to use family day care services than centre based day care, but are faced with a decreasing number of service providers and fewer available places.
- The considerations that are most important to parents and guardians when choosing a family day care service or a centre-based day care are location, availability, quality and affordability.
- About 71% of parents and guardians using family day care said location was among their top 5 most important factors, making it the equal most important factor along with availability.
- Parents and guardians with children in family day care see the type of service as a more important consideration when choosing a service, relative to parents and guardians of children in centre based day care. Parents and guardians reported valuing the home-based, small group environment provided by family day care.
- The decline in numbers of family day care services is likely to impact households in vulnerable situations and areas disproportionately, because they rely more on these care types than other households.
- During the past four years out-of-pocket expenses after subsidies have increased 15.8 % for households using family day care, 12 % for households using outside school hours care and 7 % for households using centre based day care services .
The ACCC’s Interim Report can be accessed here.
The ACCC will now continue to consult with the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector and gather information about the cost of providing ECEC across all parts of the sector. It will also closely watch the pricing behaviour of providers as Child Care Subsidy increases take effect from 10 July 2023.
On behalf of our members, FDCA will continue to advocate the critically important role family day care plays in meeting the diverse needs of Australian families e and the urgent need for measures to support the growth of the sector.
The next milestone in the ACCC Inquiry will be the publication of a consultation paper in September 2023.
Awards - Submissions Open
Nominations for the 2023 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards have now closed and submissions are currently open. A big congratulations to all our members who were nominated - with over 5000 nominations for educators, coordinators, services and service staff, 2023 is one of our biggest years to date!
Nominees are invited to make a supporting submission via the link in their nomination notification email from Family Day Care Australia (FDCA). Submissions close 23 July 2023 - don't miss your chance at taking out the top spot in your category for 2023!
If you have been nominated and have not received a nomination notification email from FDCA, please contact email@example.com.
For more information on the Awards, please visit the awards page.
Important National Research into ECEC Pay and Conditions - Have Your Say before 24 July 2023!
A research team from Macquarie University have been contracted under the terms of the National ECEC Workforce Strategy to investigate how rates of pay and employment conditions and benefits impact the recruitment and retention of ECE staff including in the family day care sector.
This national survey gives you the opportunity to let the researchers know what needs to be improved in order to solve this workforce crisis. Your responses will directly inform Government ECE policy and industrial relations reform as well as workforce initiatives planned by large and small ECE employers. By completing the survey, you can enter a draw for one of ten $300 gift vouchers.
The survey asks about your current employment conditions, your job attitudes, and which employment conditions and benefits are the most desirable. It should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. The survey closes on 24 July 2023.
To complete the survey and have your say, click here.
EFT Gap Fee Payments Are Now in Effect
Families must now pay their gap fee payment using electronic funds transfer, or EFT.
Additionally, approved providers are now responsible for ensuring the service and their educators comply with this new obligation.
To support you, your educators and your families, FDCA has developed a suite of EFT Transition Resources that are available free on our website here.
Our resources include:
At FDCA, we are committed to providing resources that support your continuous improvement and help you in the delivery of compliant, quality practices. We value your cooperation and commitment to providing excellent care and education to children in family day care. Together, we can embrace these changes and continue to create a positive impact on the lives of children and families.
It is important that service providers and educators maintain transparent communication with families and that there are clear processes and policies in place. This ensures that families understand what EFT options are available at your service and how the payments will be received.
If you have any questions or need more information about the changes to gap fee payments, please contact us on 1800 658 699 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to CCS Rates from 10 July
Most families who use early childhood education and care will start receiving more Child Care Subsidy (CCS) from this week. There may be some families who were previously not eligible for CCS who could now be eligible to receive it.
Here’s a summary of what’s changed:
- The family income limit to get CCS has increased to $530,000.
- The maximum amount of CCS has increased from 85% to 90%.
- Families earning $80,000 or less get a CCS rate of 90%.
- Families earning over $80,000 get a CCS rate that decreases by 1% for each $5,000 of family income. This rate reaches 0% for families earning $530,000.
- Families earning below $362,408 with more than one child aged 5 or under in care get a higher rate for their second and younger children.
- Families with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child in their care can get at least 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight, regardless of their activity level.
Families already getting CCS don’t need to do anything to get the new rates. Services Australia have applied the changes from 10 July.
Families who earn between $356,756 and $530,000 may be entitled to CCS now. Families who haven’t claimed CCS, should lodge a claim with Services Australia.
Click here to access some resources to assist families in understanding the changes.